My Conservatory - What will I use it for?
An obvious but very important question.
Will it be a sunroom ? or a dining room ?
a play room ? a study ? a children's room ? a
breakfast room ? ...
What you will use your new conservatory or
sunroom for will ultimately determine the
specification and cost. Broadly speaking I find
most people fit into one of three categories in
Firstly we have those who require a simple
occasional sunroom for use in warmer days only click here.
Secondly we have those that require a more
"permanent" structure - an additional
room that they may use most of the year. Budget
may be a little limited and they accept they may
have to make some compromises on the overall
specification click here.
And finally we have those who require "true
additional living space" that can be used
all year round, morning, daytime and evening, no
matter what the weather click here.
The first category of those who
are looking for an occasional sunroom feature on
their home is in many ways the easiest to cater
for. Here I recommend full height/fully glazed
models - usually in a lean-to style. This allows
you to maximise the space internally and with the
full height version gives the best view of your
garden. A lot of people will put their
conservatory down directly on their existing
patio. This is quite OK but do remember that you
do not have a damp course installed with this
method - so do be prepared for some damp. If at
all possible lay the conservatory in a slightly
raised position (perhaps on a single course of
brickwork) so as to minimise the effects of
"standing water" [that's the water that
accumulates on your patio during rain] and
therefore reduce water/damp penetration.
An ideal choice for somebody looking for
something better than a green house - somewhere
to have coffee or read the newspaper on a sunny
For those of us who want
something approaching an all year round room but
perhaps do not want to go too the expense of
Pilkington "K" glass and the more
advanced roofing options then I would make the
following recommendations. Firstly it is almost
always best to specify cavity dwarf walls, double
glazed frames with a minimum of 16 mm
polycarbonate in the roof. You can also add
various heating methods and perhaps cavity wall
insulation. A lot of people will tell you that
this will give you an all year round room and
indeed I do know people who are perfectly happy
with these alternatives. However whilst you may
be lucky enough to be able to use the
conservatory during the day I would suggest a lot
of people will find this alternative just a
little chilly in the winter evenings (even with
heating). This specification is also more prone
to damp and condensation. This is especially so
if you are north facing. By all means have this
specification but do please recognise that it can
have some short comings.
As an example, this specification can be used as
an occasional dining room, a reading room, a
study or for entertainment such as barbecues or
early evening cocktails.
As I have said previously, there
are many conservatory and sunroom owners who are
very happy with the specification above and are
able to use their conservatory as an all year
round living space. However I personally would
recommend that anybody who wants to be as sure as
one can be of using their conservatory all year
round also adds the following to their
specification. Firstly (and I consider this
essential) you should use a Low E type of glazing
such as Pilkington "K" glass in your
double glazing. You may also like to add Argon
filled units to the specification for even better
insulation. In the roof I always recommend glass
for the glazing material - with Pilkington
"K" glass off course (I do like to look
at the stars at night!). As an alternative to
glass in the roof you can use 24 or 25 mm
polycarbonate. This product which has been
relatively recently introduced has the advantage
of being less expensive and easier to handle than
a glass roof whilst being a very good insulator.
For more information on this you should visit our
all year Conservatory".
With Pilkington "K" glass and other
additions such as 25 mm polycarbonate you really
have something approaching an all year round
living space. A dining room, a home office or an
extra reception room - all available for you.
Click here for details of Special Seasonal offers on Conservatories and Sunrooms